Publisher Idea Factory International is fully aware of fans' concerns over its decision to censor the Western release of strategic card battle game Monster Monpiece, according to a statement, explaining that Western markets aren't as tolerant to "images of humanoids that appear to be younger than a socially acceptable age."
" ... Western society is not as lenient as that of Japan when sexual images are involved-especially images of humanoids that appear to be younger than a socially acceptable age," the statement reads. "The borderline of what is ‘acceptable' will always be extremely gray and vary from person to person, but as a responsible company working in the U.S., we had to make the difficult decision that we did."
Idea Factory International stated that the decision to alter content was difficult as it endeavors to satisfy fans and offer the same content available in Japan. The company went on to apologize for those who do not agree with any level of censorship.
Monster Monpiece features a card-based battle system where Monster Girls fight opponents. Using the game's level-up features called First Crush Rub and Extreme Love, players can power up the Monster Cards by rubbing the PlayStations Vita's screen. The action often results in Monster Girls character losing articles of clothing. The publisher announced yesterday that it will cut down on the game's "strong sexual nature" by censoring certain cards.
The Western release will feature 350 cards, the same number of cards in the original, with "about 40" of that figure altered. The censored cards have their respective higher level Monster Girl images replaced with the corresponding "less exposed" lower level Monster Girls "due to some intense sexual imagery."
"That said, each card that has had its image removed will still have the same number of levels for the player to increase, but the higher level card images will be the same as the lower level, even though they have leveled up and have become more powerful," the company said.
According to the publisher, the gameplay, playtime, system, features and storyline will remain intact as the original Japanese version, and Monster Girls can still be leveled up to the highest levels.
The altered Monster Monpiece received an ESRB Mature rating in North America, while the European release was awarded with a PEGI 12+ rating. According to Idea Factory, PEGI rated the game 12+ due to "the minimal amount of violence shown in the game." The Vita title is slated to launch via the PlayStation Network this spring.